Galaxy Notebook: Villarreal makes his mark in star turn
Teen hero Jose Villarreal more or less scored in his first Major League Soccer game, lifting the LA Galaxy to a 2-2 draw Wednesday night at Vancouver with a sizzling strike to the upper-left corner in the 87th minute.
WATCH: Villarreal on his first MLS goal
Technically, though, that's not so. He saw about a minute-and-a-half at the end of LA's win last weekend at Portland, not nearly enough time to get involved, so his appearance in the 71st minute – with Galaxy manager Bruce Arena instructing him to go out there and get a goal – was a massive moment for the 18-year-old midfielder.
What were his thoughts as he stepped onto the field?
“I don't even know man,” he said in a postgame interview with Galaxy broadcast partner KDOC. “It was overwhelming, I was excited – I was nervous, but once I got a few touches on the ball, everything just slowed down for me.”
He said, "There's not a lot of words I can say to describe” the emotions after playing the hero, and he wasn't sure whom he'd call first back home in Southern California.
“The charges [to use my cell phone in Canada] are pretty expensive,” Villarreal said. “So I'll wait until I get home.”
Galaxy legend Cobi Jones, the broadcast analyst, offered Villarreal a little advice: “Keep that jersey, keep that ball. Very important for your future. Trust me.”
— Adam Serrano (@LAGalaxyInsider) July 19, 2012
Dunivant injured in draw
Left back Todd Dunivant left the game on Wednesday in the 31st minute with a calf strain. He’s missed just one MLS regular-season game this year, but his status for Saturday’s matchup against Chivas USA (10 pm ET/ 7pm PT, KDOC, TeleFutura, AM 1150, 1330 AM, LIVE CHAT) is unclear.